Don’t fall behind the mobile video revolution
By Dr KF Lai October 3, 2014
- On-demand ‘anytime anywhere’ video now part of our media consumption habit
- Video appeals to many of our senses, creates highly engaging emotional quality
ONLINE video on mobile is now one of the most – if not the leading – influential marketing channels.
Surfing on mobile is increasing and it’s clear that mobile – and video consumption – is driving consumer behaviour.
BuzzCity’s study of Mobile Video Consumption shows that 75% of mobile surfers in Malaysia watch videos on their handsets and 23% watch mobile videos at least once a day.
Better telecoms infrastructure accounts for much of the growth. In Malaysia, analysts estimate that nearly a third of the population are 3G (Third Generation mobile technology) subscribers. 4G (Fourth Generation) services were first launched in 2013 and by July 2014, 5-8% of the population were using the service.
Infrastructure is not the only factor behind the rise of mobile video. Carriers are offering better rates. Independent video sharing sites are running major membership drives. Smartphones have bigger screens and faster processors.
So it’s no surprise that social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and others, have expanded successfully to include video.
Just as photos defined an earlier generation of mobile usage, on-demand ‘anytime anywhere’ video has quickly become part of our media consumption habit.
What opportunities are there?
The marketing opportunities come from the extensive penetration that digital has thanks to mobile. The empowering tool is the power of sound and moving pictures; these appeal to many of our senses and creates an emotional quality that is highly engaging.
The opportunity is of course not new, and many have taken advantage of this together with the growth of Internet usage in general. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty for example, has run for 10 years now and, for eight of these, was driven by viral videos.
As with many other brands, Dove has used the medium to tell ‘the brand story’ and not just a promotional campaign to sell products.
In Honda Stage, the brand uses music videos to build its presence and behaves more like media. The Harley Davidson You Tube channel may appear on the surface as a successful deployment of user generated videos, but is also clever engagement with customers who need not use its products but who, as influencers, advocate the bikes.
In 2013 Samsung Malaysia launched a web series Wind Chimes in a Bakery (pic below) which tapped into the audience’s attraction for romantic tragedy coupled with strategic product placement.
In many ways though, these brands follow traditional ‘branding on TV’ – once that brand awareness and emotional connection have been established, the brand runs retail marketing campaigns that encourage consumers to take a test drive or get a promotional discount.
Digital video on the other hand promises the same emotional response with the practicality of direct response. Advertisers can potentially, track spending directly to purchase in a way not possible with TV, and inspire engagement with mobile surfers.
Data and analytics will of course be important. But advertisers also need to be mindful that the user experience of video is subjective – an emotional quality made more personal by the intimate nature of mobile.
The only way to secure engagement is to actually create content that people care about or are interested in. This is more of an art than a science and not something that can be quantified and measured from every aspect.
Dr KF Lai is the founder and chief executive officer of Singapore-headquartered mobile advertising network BuzzCity.
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